tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg July 16, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: six world powers reached a deal he yesterday -- deal yesterday with iran to define nuclear power sections. congress plans to unravel the deal. this has attracted opposition from america's middle east allies. they worry that it empowers
iran. president obama defended the terms of the deal at a white house press conference earlier today. president obama/the bottom -- pres. obama: the bottom line is this, it prevents the most serious threat which is iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and that is why this deal makes our country more secure and that is why the alternative means that iran would have no inspections and there is a risk of a nuclear arms race and a greater risk of nuclear war. all of that would endanger our security. that is the choice that we face. if we don't choose wisely, i believe future generations will judge us harshly for letting this slip away. charlie: president obama also
spoke with tom friedman of "the new york times." pres. obama: we have asked a consensus but 10 years from now, 15 years from now, the person sitting in my seat, the president of the united states republican or democrat, is not only going to have this same capacity to take necessary military actions or to impose new sanctions, that is actually going to have more insight into the program and will have international legitimacy if they have to do with a vial -- deal with the violation of the program. charlie: joining me now is dennis ross who served as a special assistant of president obama from 2009-2000 10, and he was also a middle east peace envoy under both democratic and republican presidential and
ministrations. also joining me is the burns -- nick burns. i am pleased to have both of them on this program this evening and i think dennis for his appearance here and my colleagues on fox news where he serves as a consultant for them. let me ask a question to both of you, and it is this how difficult is it to achieve of -- achieve a deal like this? given this is a huge task? dennis: even though this became a bilateral negotiation, any negotiation with the islamic republic given the revolutionary ideology of the supreme leader, it in the dynamic of the country, given how we look at them and given how they look at us, given the
complicated nature of the issue in itself, this was bound to be a difficult the gassy nation. one can always question how one can negotiate this and anyone who is away from the table always think they are a better negotiator than those who are at the table, so i have no doubt about the difficulty of negotiating this. there are certainly times were i preferred our posture to be one that made clear that we didn't need this deal as much as the iranians did and that the diplomacy would have cost them much more than us, what we had done everything in just the way that i would have preferred to do it. this is definitely still going to be a very hard negotiation and i have no doubts about the difficulty of this. nick? nick: i agree, this started during the bush -- during the bush administration.
we turned to the cassation's and then turn to sanctions. i sense that unity between the bush and obama administrations, with obama strengthening the sanctions regime. then he got to negotiations over the last year and a half and these were extraordinarily difficult negotiations if you think about it, charlie. on the one hand, we had to open up the first sustained conversation between the u.s. and iran in 35 years. we basically had no sustained vindication until the autumn of 2013. see you had that dynamic and the political sensitivity -- so you had that dynamic and the political sensitivity between tehran and washington. and then there were other individuals at the negotiating table, and that was russia and china, and they are not easy to deal with, as i know from many years ago. finally he had to deal with this difficult political
environment in washington and the climate of distrust of this administration i many republican leaders, so it was as if the president and secretary kerry were in a three ring circus, and i give them credit for having persisted, and i can't imagine with john kerry, with his broken leg 18 days in vienna showing strength. my hat is off to the american team. charlie: so then the question is, as the president asked this was to achieve one single goal and that was to stop the iranians from having a nuclear weapon? do you agree with that, dennis? dennis: i agree that pursuing a diplomatic outcome is better at than by far, any other outcome. number two is there is no military solution to the problem. in other words, if you use
force, there is no way to destroy their engineering capabilities. so the question is not whether the approach is the way to do it, but the question is whether the standards meets the way that we have set the standards for ourselves and makes us safer. i think that congress should evaluate this seriously. they should not rest -- rush to judgment, they should ask questions about it and treat it to what it amounts to what it is, a very serious arms-control agreement and take a hard look and ask questions and seek clarification and seek interpretations and try to understand exactly what this agreement does and what it doesn't do. charlie: so what would you recommend them do? a lot of people have already seemed to make judgments. most of the republican candidates for president have already spoken out against it without seeing the deal. dennis: i would have preferred that they not do that and i would've preferred that they
look at it carefully. but i think there are a lot of positives with this agreement and a lot of for abilities in this agreement, and we can talk about how to try to minimize those for abilities. but if you try to look at the totality of the agreement and where in fact it really does seem to set the iranians back and where it does buy you time yes, the disagreement -- this agreement is differing to the iranians for 15 years and it will ensure that they are not going to have a nuclear weapon. after 15 years they are legitimized as a nuclear weapon state. the difference between a threshold state and a nuclear weapon state is not that different. after roughly six months, it means that they will have access to $150 billion in frozen accounts and it sort of strains the bounds of credulity and they won't use a percentage of that, even a small percentage, to provide to has below, to provide to hamas.
charlie: the president says he knows that they will use some of it for that purpose, but it is not in the endgame and it is not at all copper bubble to the idea of stopping them from getting a nuclear weapon -- it is not at all comparable to the idea of stopping them from getting a nuclear weapon. dennis: they think that once they have this money, if freeze them up to have the freedom to do dangerous things to people that they consider a danger to them. what are the administration's plans to deal with that? do they have contingencies to deal with increased iranian spending? do they have plans to deal with iranians dealing that kind of support to these groups? in other words, there are issues opened up by this agreement both by this agreement and without this agreement, and they should look at the questions and
address them. charlie: nick, is this the kind of deal that you have accepted? nick: i think this is a sensible deal and i would have accepted it and i also think it is a complex deal. on the positive side, i think what president obama and secretary kerry negotiated was that iran will not be able to get a nuclear weapon. all access to uranium and plutonium are going to be shut off because they are not going to have enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, they are only going to have 300 kilograms at 6.7% lower uranium. there will be interested inspections as the president said at their major uranium enrichment facilituy. i think the key thing, charlie, is that they are saying policy
that iran is on 1-2 months away from nuclear capability, a nuclear weapon. this agreement will put iran one year away, and i think that is the real achievement of this administration. -- achievement of this negotiation. congress is going to have to ask questions, i testified for nearly four hours yesterday and got a really good idea of what is on the minds of the members. i think they're worried and they should be, will the inspection regimes be enough? we have to assume that the uranian's -- that the iranians are going to cheat at some point, because that is their history. they have lied to the united nations for any five years. -- four 25 years -- for 25 years. will we be able to put sanctions against them should they
fundamentally break the agreement? i have a lot of questions about the russians and the chinese and maybe even the indians and the japanese were major consumers of iranian oil and gas. so that is another problem. and the third problem is the question that dennis ended on, and there is a major push for power in the sunni world right now in iraq, syria, and lebanon. the iranian guard has more money to sow chaos in the middle east so i think there is a risk in both directions. there is a risk in the agreement and a risk in not going forward, but i think it is a sensible deal for us and a president did do something successful today and it was to say to his critics, what is your alternatives? most of the heat -- the republican opponents say to step away from the sanction --
negotiating table and just sanction them further. if we had stepped away from the negotiating table, i know what would've happened. the sanctions would have diminished or disappeared altogether. the european five countries would have been made powerless and obama's deal versus the snow option with the critics, i would take obama's deal. ♪
♪ charlie: the president said two things about sanctions. one, if he didn't make this, the sanctions regime would be over. and he just made that point, but the president said that a number of times. and if he walked away from the deal that they had that the sanctions regime would fall away. secondly, he made the point that a lot of these things would stay in place after 10-15 years. a lot of the kind of inspections and restrictions at that they have would stay in place and if in fact there were violations of that, then they could reconsider sanctions and things. am i wrong about that nick? i want to make sure that i understood it. nick: nope, and that is what he focused on. their major focus was this managed inspections and will the iranians have the capacity to cover up any kind of skulduggery?
i think the president address that and said look, with the existing facilities that we know about, there is going to be 24/7 inspections. if there is a covert idea uncovered, there is a possibility of up to a 24 day period but we would have a line of sight that he said, and i thought he made the best case but still, congress is going to ask tough questions here. charlie: and dennis -- dennis: -- charlie, can i say one thing here? part of the fact that this is a threshold state, and after 2015, there is no limitation to the size of that program. the larger the program becomes even with the existing monitoring that will take place under the traditional protocol, the harder it is to know everything. so here it is again, one of the points that i am making is that if they are going to be a threshold state and there is no limit on the size and even if
there is monitoring, i think the key for us is that deterrence is a concept that needs to be cemented over time. the credibility of deterrence needs to be built over time. the step that we take over the coming years needs to reinforce it. this makes clear that not only are all options on the table but saying explicitly that we will not permit iran to become a nuclear weapon state, even if they are a threshold stay, we will not permit them to take that leap, if we in fact pick up signs that they are moving towards a weapon, getting them that threshold status, we will act materially to prevent them. the more that this is done, the more that that will make those steps credible the more the intern it becomes real, and the more that you reduce the credibility -- the vulnerability that flows out of this agreement. charlie: but the president said that explicitly. dennis: -- nick: the president said that explicitly in april,
and i agree with dennis, he needs to say that and bring back the credibility to the middle east so that people knows that he means what he says. this is for two presidencies from now, if you think about it the man or the woman who is in the white house, and it will be well beyond 2025. we will not permit iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, but you have to have credibility for the people who were thinking about it and i think because of the record of this administration, particularly with syria a country is and is a redline episode with thought -- with assad, they need to make sure they have could ability. charlie: do you think you should take this off the table or he has told exposed lead to iran that it is in fact necessary to use the literary action to prevent them from having military -- having nuclear weapons, then the united states will use it? dennis: there is no doubt in my
mind that certainly in the first term, it was unmistakable that when they said the options were on the table and they had us work within that within the ministry and as it exists today to create the capabilities to act on all of the offers being on the table, that this was not something that he meant and that this was something that the rest of the world understood and that he meant it. i think he still means it, but i don't think as nick was just suggesting that it is necessarily believe. charlie: but that is a very different think of it that have to do with syria and the red line and the perceptions of benjamin netanyahu and the crown prince of the emirates and the king of saudi arabia. dennis: but charlie -- charlie: their perception is not what they have a perception -- their perception is not what he intends to do. dennis: now the supreme leader
used to say that the united states would never attack us and he has never said that before. the iranians need to understand that if they make that move, it triggers this kind of response. today i think it is very important to move and make sure that if iran is left as a threshold stay and when we do this is by repeating the link was very clearly. another way is by being prepared to compete much more in the region to raise the cost of uranium in syria and elsewhere, and if in fact we see them providing much more money to hezbollah, to how mas, then we begin to work with our allies in the area to counter -- to hamas then we begin to work with our allies in the area to counter that and the point is, you not only make it clear that there is a threshold for us that won't be tolerated, but we are taking steps to give a meaning to our
words so that everybody doesn't doubt what we say. charlie: nic, this question, the president in talking about these negotiations -- nick, this question, the president, in talking about these negotiations said that we should have been part of the negotiations, but it was impossible to make them part of these negotiations and that the goal was always a very simple goal, to prevent iran to have the ability to make a nuclear weapon. nick: right, and this, as you know, charlie has been a controversial aspect of these negotiations. some people believe that we would have been better off to have introduced some of these issues alongside the nuclear issues. i frankly think that secretary kerry president obama made the right decision to make this only about nuclear weapons. during the press conference when the president was admonished by
the reporter who said that the president was insensitive about the plight of the americans need held captive, and the president said look, that wasn't true you are out of bounds, and that would have been a mistake to put the american hostage issue in the inaccuracy asian because it would've given the iranians perhaps more leverage, so i think they made the right call there. but i also think on following what dennis just said and the question that you asked charlie, the united states can do more to strengthen its position in the united states. it is two things, build up the capacity with saudi arabia and the other is to contain iranian power in the persian gulf. third, very importantly, and this is going to be very difficult, to mend fences with prime minister benjamin netanyahu, because they have a profound disagreement, netanyahu and president obama on this iranian nuclear deal. we need to see a strengthening of the u.s.-israel relationship.
dennis and i have both evaluated the quantitative importance of this edge and there is more that we can do to strengthen and that, i think that is just common sense diplomacy for the year ahead. charlie: i hear you, and dennis you as well know the israeli prime minister as well. the president always reminds his audience that it was the prime minister of israel who, how many months ago, warned that the initial agreement would not hold and that the prime minister of israel was wrong there and he is wrong in now? dennis: look, there is no question that the prime minister of israel feels that this is somehow subjecting israel to dramatically greater threats. to be fair to him, he is not alone in israel. we have seen werner herzog came
out with a statement and the statements may not take on the full character of what prime minister netanyahu was saying, but they reflect that there is a profound fear that a iran that is legitimized as a nuclear threshold state could become a nuclear weapon state, and suddenly and iran could become powerful with all this money and could provide it to has bulla and could provide 100,000 rockets to has below, they could provide it to israel and could provide clear monetary support to hamas, where as israel across the board, strengthening this is not an abstract threat. they feel it very directly to so nick's point is very in -- directly. so nick's point is very important, but it is very important for israel to see that they are in the wedge, and this is a country where i talks about eliminating israel. last fall, the supreme leader talked about five questions on
how to eliminate israel. this is very profound. having u.s. in a sense saying whatever our differences are on this and i think the president has said this, the president believes this deal is good not only for the united states but believes this is good for our allies, including the israeli state as well. charlie: and he believes that? dennis: but the israelis don't forget they are looking at an iran that is looking to be more aggressive in the region and looking to a way to become more aggressive in the region. so one of the things that i and suggesting along the lines of what nick is also raising is not only should he try to mend the fences, and that means not as really with a qualitative military edge, but how about also sitting down with israel and finding a way to deal with the different options that
iranians could now pursue now that they will have more resources available? also, the israelis have this fear that in the revealing of the sanctions, this will somehow create in norma's space and assets for the iranians to threaten everyone in the region. listen to the saudi's, listen to the emirates, they feel it as well. charlie: i think the king had some concerns about this. and let me just go to this question for both of you and what is the alternative to this deal? i think you were saying, dennis was the alternative was to make it a better deal. the alternative was not something to reject the deal and this is to echo what the president said but to modify but not having a deal is not great as compared to having an alternative. dennis: i have to admit that i don't see an easy alternative. i am not calling for a better deal, what i am saying is that
there are areas of older that needs to be addressed. there are areas that flow from the agreement and that creates vulnerabilities and we need to strengthen deterrence and that is a very important thing that needs to be done to get think having an approach to dealing with iran might be important because i believe that the revolutionary guard is going to be compensated by the supreme leader. the revolutionary guard did not favor this agreement and i think the result given that way the supreme leader operates, i think he is going to compensate them by giving them greater license within the region. but i would say within the context of the agreement itself, there is something that in fact i think maybe you don't change the agreement, but you -- but there needs to be a clear explanation as to what happens with smaller violations. if you look at the snap-back sanctions, they deal with material breaches of the agreement. and iran will do what i read
always does, which is cheating along the margins. it cannot be that we catch them doing things that they shouldn't be doing. let's say they are enriching to 6% or 7% and not 3.7%. we can't say that this is a mistake and just stop it. there needs to be a penalty for each of the transgressions, no matter how small, and it is hard because that also gives meaning to your words. we can be also talking to the other members of the negotiating table, the five plus one, and decide what kind of consequences there are going to be for the smaller violations. here i think the discussions with the congress could actually move the administration to give assurances on how they will do that. nick? charlie: go ahead and then i will have another question. nick: i think that this is exactly right. in have to set a very tough tone early in the of limitation phase. as soon as iran complies with the agreement, which maybe
five or six months from now when they construct the sites and follow this, and i also think charlie, that we are going to be dealing with two iranian governments. we are going to be dealing with the prime and stir and the foreign minister, and secretary that relationship with -- prime minister and the foreign minister, and secretary kerry can use that relationship to deal with tougher issues in the region. charlie: i am basing this on what i heard the president said with the interview with tom friedman and basically what he set up a press conference, he emphasizes not trust but a verification. this is a deal that is constructed with the expectation that there might be efforts to cheat, and that is why you have the level of inspection and the level of intrusion that you have. nick? nick: that's right, and you remember president reagan's
favor phrase, trust not verify but now you are saying, don't trust and verify. i think he is right to say it. i think the iaea is a fairly competent and i think tough-minded organization. they are going to be in the existing plants, and i think i have reasonable confidence that that 24/seven monitoring of those plants will be seen most violations if not all violations. the problem will be with any covert attempts by the iranians to breakout and to build secret nuclear plants. they have done it twice before. they were caught lying both times. there is a lot riding on this. they could throw themselves back into sanctions, but they are smart, they are ruthless, i think they will test us, and therefore, constant vigilance high standards at the beginning will be critical. dennis: can i add to that? charlie: please. dennis: it is critical in a
think you put your finger on it and nick as well the thing is here we are going to try to verify everything, but the critical thing is what we do when we catch them in a violation. the snapback function is something that deals with big material violations, but the most likely kind of cheating will be on the small end and not the large end. i'll think we have the kind of infrastructure to deal with the small kind of cheating. we should create not just the mechanism but to work out kind of, at least on her own, and certainly a lease with the europeans and maybe with the russians and the chinese, what is the penalty for the smaller end violations, because if it is just a case for the iranians do it and we catch them and they say we won't do it again, we are going to see more and more of it. the ministry and it can explain more and maybe think through more of what the intent to do. charlie: thank you nic thank you dennis -- bnick thank you
republican presidential contenders. 44 years old, he is a graduate of princeton and learned under supreme court chief justice william rehnquist. he believes in being seen and not heard. his voice has ricocheted a largely alone -- largely around the chamber including with a 21 hour filibuster of obamacare. he is a national security hawk and opposes most of obama's policies he is pro military, and he opposes the supreme court decisions to uphold the affordable care act and gay marriage. senator cruz, thank you for being with us. senator cruz: thank you for having me.
al: you are a new senator, a first-term senator, not a lot of experience. what makes you a good candidate for president? senator cruz: if you of looked at who has consistently stood up and led on issues and on constitutional issues and national security issues, i think a lot of voters are frustrated with politicians who are campaign conservatives. they talk conservative on the campaign trail but when they get to office, they don't actually honor the promises. that is what an awful lot of politicians in this town are. al: let's start with foreign policy, you would dismantle the iranian nuclear deal that obama did. do you think you could persuade the europeans and maybe the chinese and the russians to impose economic stations? senator cruz: i think that would prove very difficult than it is
one of the many reasons why i think this nuclear deal is a catastrophic mistake because if it goes through and congress doesn't stop it, we've got 60 days of congressional review, i hope we stop it. but if we don't, what that means is that the next president, when he or she comes into office in jenny were a 2017, i think that the odds are very high that the next president is going to confront a president -- and i ran that is on the verge of having nuclear weapons. and if that happens, the consequence of this deal is effectively taking sanctions off of the plate as a viable tool because once our allies have lifted their sanctions, it would take months if not years, if ever, to reassemble the international coalition, so if this deal -- so this deal today makes military conflict only more likely in 18 months, and that is a really unfortunate consequence. al: how likely would it be that the united states or israel would have to take out those military efforts? senator cruz: i think there is
a'ssenator cruz: --senator cruz: i think there is a situation where a president will have to take military force. under no circumstances should we allow iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and the reason is simple. there are read by a -- they are led by a theocratic cleric, the ayatollah kemeny -- khomeni, and he wants to to get israel, he refers to israel as the little satan and refers to united states is the big satan. i believe in peace through strength. you know, it is worth remembering that after eight years in office, the biggest country that reagan ever invaded was grenada. that when you have a credible commander in chief the need to use military strength drops dramatically. i don't think it was accidental. one of the things that i talk
about in the book "a time for truth" is that iran released our hostages in 1981 the day that reagan was sworn in. that is the difference that a new commander in chief makes. al: ronald reagan is your model and you talk about him a lot in your book, and on national security in general, you believe that obama is too soft. on foreign policy, like the george w. bush legacy, with her be more economic sections are not? senator cruz: i think it would be more like the reagan and ministration. the neocons among the republicans have been too eager to engage in military action. we should be reluctant to use military force. you know, my view of foreign policy is the number one, b of a clarion voice for freedom. it is one of the things that reagan understood powerfully a couple of years ago. and i sat down with a famed
soviet is this a dent and he shared about how in the gulags they would pass notes from cell to cell saying it, did you hear what reagan said? "tear down that wall." they are using that as the bully pulpit. what this i ran is that it was shocking and it was shameful that he did not mention the american citizens languishing in the iranian cells right now. it was shameful that he did not mention them. we should speak for freedom but when it comes to military force, america is always reluctant to use military force and it should have three principles to govern the use of military force. number one, if and when we use military force, we should always, always, always be directed to the binary -- to the vital interests of united states, and number two, we
should use overwhelming force but number three, and this is critical, we should get the heck out. al: that is where in your view the george w. bush and ministration failed? senator cruz: it is that the job of our minister -- george w. bush administration failed? senator cruz: it is not the job of our military to seek out and create new countries, they have to seek out and kill terrorists prefer they hurt americans. al: would you put boots on the ground today against putin? senator cruz: i have often pointed to two circumstances to illustrate those situations, and those two circumstances are syria and iran. two years ago president obama proposed a unilateral attack against syria, and i listened but they never advanced any
national security interest that was compelling, so i opposed that military attack. most significantly because when it two years ago when the president was proposing attacking syria, of the nine major rebel groups that were fighting at that time, up to seven of them has significant ties with radical islamic terrorists. they had connected to isis, which at the time was not a household word, and i asked him if we succeed in toppling assad, who is a monster, and we free them how does that help america? al: see you disagree with lindsey graham that he wants to put 10,000 troops over there? senator cruz: i do. when it comes to getting isis, what is most important as a commander in chief laying out a clear objective is that we will destroy isis. isis has declared war on us and they are crucifying christians they are beheading journalists, they are lighting people on
fire. once the commander in chief sets of that goal that we are not going to degrade, we are not going to weaken them, we are not going to destroy them, then you have to rely on the judgment of our military commanders who have the tools to do what is necessary. i think a necessary tool that we should employ is overwhelming airpower. right now, we are engaged in what i call photo op for a policy. we drop a bomb here and the rules of engagement are so strict that right now, from isis's perspective, they are winning. the second key thing that we ought to do is arm the kurds. the kurds are our boots on the ground. they are our allies and the obama administration refuses to arm them because rather than focus on the national security objective of protecting us from terrorists, they are engaged in grand nationbuilding that frankly the bush administration engaged in. they are trying to seek a reconciliation of the sunnis and the shiites. the sunnis and the shiites have been battling since 1632 a.d.
al: let's switch very quickly to domestic policy. you are an advocate of a flat tax? senator cruz: i have not worked out a policy just yet with my economic adviser. but the policy that we see are usually in the teens and there are a series of trade-off and judgments -- trade-offs and judgments that you make and at what level do you allow deductions for things like turtle contributions or a mortgage interest? each of those trade-offs haves impacts in terms of how the tax plan affects jobs, affects wage growth and we are making those decisions now, so i will roll out a specific plan. what have said and what i am campaigning on right now is that we should have a simple flat tax where every american can fill out his or her taxes on a postcard and when we do that -- al: -- and no exemptions a note
deductions? senator cruz: you might have a handful of deductions. charitable's are the key ones but those are the decisions that we are making right now and there are trade-offs when we are looking at the numbers. i have you that one of the most important constraints with the proposals that i am rolling out is the fact that it is on a postcard, that there are limitations of physics of putting their. -- there. al: putting it all on there? senator cruz: and what i talk about a lot in the book "a time for truth" is the career politicians of both parties, democrats and republicans, who get in bed with lobbyists and special interests and the incredible complexity of the tax code is one of the tools that they used to entrench. their power. al: on immigration -- entrench their power. al: on immigration, do you think that this has for the republican
party? do you think that is the case? senator cruz: what i think hurts the party are the members of the washington cartel that campaign on one set of issues in the government and run on a different set of issues. i think that the frustration that men and women across this country are feeling with career politicians in both parties who say one thing into another -- al: -- but trump is really voicing that. senator cruz: he is tapping off of what -- al: -- but you disagree with what he says? senator cruz: he space in a different way that i speak. al: do you agree with what he says? senator cruz: he is focusing on a different problem with immigration, and specifically on crime. in 2013, the obama administration released into the public 36,000 criminals. it released 116 murderers.
released over 15,000 people who had been convicted of drunk driving already. people are conserved -- concerned about all areas of law. al: were these all immigrants? senator cruz: some of them were. al: let me go back to the broader question, this book is entitled "a time for truth." you are a straight shooter for tech -- from texas, but chuck todd, he asked you repeatedly and with all due respect, you ducked his questions repeatedly, celebrity give you another chance what would you do with the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here? senator cruz: i would hazard the same way i answered it over and over again, now he didn't like my answer, but what i said is that i recognize that the problem is with the senate democrats and what the media focuses on. in my view, if you actually want
to get something done on immigration, you ought to focus on where there is bipartisan agreement. al: so that has to come later? senator cruz: you don't have to answer every question at once. what i said is that we should focus, number one on stopping the problem with immigration and never to on improving and streamlining legal immigration so that we can both welcome and celebrate -- al: what do you do with the 11 million? senator cruz: the american people don't trust politicians who won't secure borders, they haven't done it. once we have secure the borders, then we can have a conversation about what ever people remain here at that time. but we don't have to solve it all at once. al: let's turn to one of your favorite topics, the supreme court. you were very critical of the 5-4 supreme court marriage decision, but what do you say about the evidenced conservative jurist pozen are -- posner who
said that the underpinnings behind that was exactly the same as the 96 to seven loving decision which outlawed a ban on interracial marriage. senator cruz: there is a difference, we fought a bloody civil war on this nation's shameful history on slavery. it was fought over slavery and we passed three amendments in the constitution the 13th, the 14th, and the 50 the minutes. we did up to turn this country around. the 14th amendment was allowed to create equality among citizens. loving addresses that. the difference is that the supreme court would have to be in 1868 when the american people were ratifying the 14th amendment, they were somehow silently and unawares striking down the marriage laws of every state in the union to mandate
same-sex marriage. now my view is that marriage is a question for the state. uni may disagree as a policy issue on gay marriage, that is fine, we can do that as citizens, we can disagree. the traditional avenue, if an individual supports gay marriage, is to convince his or her fellow citizens to change the laws in each state in it i don't understand why so many people in washington including just about every democrat in washington has given up on democracy, that they want just about every major issue in our country to be decided by five unelected lawyers? i believe in democracy. al: speaking of that, you said you believe in a constitutional amendment that would get rid of supreme court justices. if that were in effect today, who would you support? senator cruz: one step at a time. if you are talking about a structural reform. al: would you suppose the retention of chief justice
roberts? senator cruz: you've got to support the reform of one institution or one individual. i have spent most of my adult life in and around the supreme court, as you mentioned, i started as a law clerk at the court. i spent over a decade litigating, and i else with many justices personally. i respect and admire a number of the justices personally. it is only with a great deal of sadness and reluctance that i have proposed a constitutional amendment to rein in their power because i believe they are abusing their oaths. 20 states employ the reasonable check of judicial elections. we have seen in the laboratories of democracy. al: you're not quite willing to say that you oppose this. senator cruz: i think when you're dealing with the reforms of the constitution, it should be a broader discussion of what the court is doing. al: that is a subject of great
interest to day. you wrote in your book that you worked for george w. bush and that he took us down the path of "a bigger government excessive spending and you are entitlements -- newer entitlements." would jeb bush be any different? senator cruz: i am sure he would be different, and i greatly expect -- respective admire jeb bush. and there are great things that george dubya bush has done in uniting americans, like when he stuck -- stepped on that pile of rubble and spoken to that bullhorn, i had never been prouder as an american that i was at that moment. whether it is embracing amnesty or embracing common core these are not conservative positions they are in direct conflict with
the views of most republicans. you know, i think his views and the aftermath of the marriage decision, saying, it is settled it is the law of the land, move on. that was almost word for word what barack obama said. al: let me try one more. marco rubio. you are both 34 years old when you started coming your both the sons of cuban immigrants, you are both self-styled conservatives. but supporters would say that he has more experience, he was the speaker of the house, and what is the advantage that ted cruz has? senator cruz: i like and respect marco a great deal and i praise marco. in fact, when iran percent, there were really too political races that i modeled our campaign after. one was barack obama's 2008 very victory over hillary clinton and the second was marco's incredible binary victory against charlie crist. those were the two models. i think there is a sharp difference between our records.
first of all, before i was in the senate, i spent five and a half years as a solicitor general of texas and in the executive position as a chief lawyer for the state representing the state before the u.s. supreme court. al: [indiscernible] senator cruz: i do, and i also have a record for fighting for conservative principles over and over again and winning on a national level. for example, as a full surgeon general, we defended against the -- defended the right religion everyone. -- and we won. al: what is the difference between you two? senator cruz: think of the dozen biggest battles in the last couple of years, and this is a respect to every candidate in the field. al: what would you say to people who say you are more conservative the marco rubio? senator cruz: what i would urge people to say is to ask whether
in the dozens of battles of the last two years, who as the candidates have set up and led -- stood up and led in a meaningful way? when have you stood and fought against obamacare? when have you stood up and fought against the debt that is bankrupting our kids and grandkids? when have you stood up and fought against obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty? where were you on indiana? i think indiana was a critical question, and on the second amended, where were you and harry reid and president obama went after our right to bear arms. al: senator cruz, this is very -- this is been very enjoyable. thank you so much for joining us. ♪